STANDISH — Sunday night, Jim Pillsbury was enjoying the back-and-forth of a wild World Series game. But he never saw the Houston Astros close out their 13-12, 10-inning win.

“Right at the end, the power went out,” he lamented.

Brenda Pillsbury lights a candle at her Standish home Thursday. She has been without power since Sunday night. Staff photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

Even though his power was still out Wednesday night, Pillsbury, who is 73, was determined to see how the Series turned out, so he drove into Portland to watch Game 7 with his son.

Such compromises are par for the course for residents of this rural town, where many believe they are at the end of the line when it comes to getting power restored after a storm knocks it out. As of Wednesday evening, about 30 percent of the 5,089 Central Maine Power Co. customers in Standish were still waiting for the lights to come back on, furnaces to kick in and refrigerators to start humming again.

CMP’s philosophy is to try to connect the greatest number of customers as quickly as possible, so Portland and its nearby suburbs usually get a lot of attention after a storm, and the swiftest reconnections.

Pillsbury said he’s used to it taking some time before Standish gets reconnected and, after losing power over the years in ice storms and snowstorms, he believes his house might be at the end of the end of the line.

“We’re in a pocket, or at least it seems that way,” he said, noting that residents just up and down Oak Hill Road seem to get their lights and appliances back on sooner than he does. Still, he and his wife, Brenda, 73, are coping well enough. He said he has a wood stove, a propane stove and heater, so the house is warm and the couple can cook meals and heat up water. And, unlike a January ice storm or February blizzard, he doesn’t have to worry about the pipes freezing.

Jim Pillsbury reads a book on his Kindle in the sunroom of his home in Standish on Thursday. “We’re in a pocket, or at least it seems that way,” he says while describing the typically long waits for electricity to be restored. Staff photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

“We’ll be fine,” he said. “Nothing to worry about.”

Colette Collins, also on Oak Hill Road but closer to the intersection of Northeast Road and Ossipee Trail that constitutes downtown Standish, confesses to a less carefree attitude than that exhibited by Pillsbury.

She works in the special education department of George Jack school in town, but with the town’s schools closed this week, she mostly tends to a generator that powers her heating system and the refrigerator.

That means making sure there’s gasoline on hand to keep it running.

Collins knows that Standish is small, but she normally thinks of it as bustling, in a small-town way. Not so when the power’s out, she said.

“It’s been pretty desolate when I’ve been driving around at night, trying to find gas,” she said. “It’s pretty dark and scary.”

The school where Collins works was damaged in the storm, and Collins doesn’t know for sure where she will be working when the town’s schools reopen because officials plan to shift the students to other schools until repairs are made.

In the meantime, she’s just trying to fill the days.

John Avery of Standish fills his generator with gas Thursday. People in this rural town are used to being at the end of the queue for getting their power back after a storm. Staff photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

Collins said she figured her son, a senior in high school, would at least be able to do some homework during the unexpected break, but so much schoolwork is tied into using the internet that he hasn’t gotten as much done as hoped.

She tries to cook – “a lot of Spam and eggs and some toast” – by disconnecting her heater and plugging in the stove.

“It’s at the point where we’re adjusting to the house (without power) and it’s quite, well, an adjustment,” she said.

Nearby, at the Standish House of Pizza, Scot Mason was enjoying a little quiet and a few slices of pizza early Thursday afternoon.

He has nine people in his house – he, his wife, his children and grandchildren – and when they opted to go out for burgers Thursday, he went on a solo outing for pizza, bringing along a book, “Belichick and Brady,” to read.

Like many in town, Mason said history has taught him to expect a long wait for the power to come back on, compounded by the fact that he lives on a private road that tends to receive attention after everyone else.

“They turn on everything around us,” he said, more bemused than upset, “and we go without power for days.”

Mason said he has a generator, but he hasn’t replaced it since it broke down in the last storm that cost him power. So when the sun sets, that means everyone in the house turns to reading by candlelight or lantern.

“We’re doing a lot of reading,” he said.

Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

[email protected]